London SE1 community website

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2015

Marion Marples

This year's RA Summer Exhibition is sure to make people talk.

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2015
What might have been: see Eric Parry's design for the Millennium Bridge
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2015
Karl Singporewala's Morals of Chess
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2015
Emily Allchurch's Babel London (after Breugel)

From the snazzy striped Grand Staircase devised by Jim Lambie to the array of small works displayed quite differently from usual, in rooms curated and hung by several different people, the whole is a work of art in itself, with carefully chosen colour themes and the strategic placing of major works and sculptures to give structure and draw attention to the scale of the fabulous building.

The theme of the architecture room is 'invented landscapes', though there are also quite a few landscape works among the submissions, notably in Jock McFadyen's room. The assembled pieces show that architects can be artists, makers, dreamers and technicians as well as social commentators. We see Eric Parry's unsuccessful entry for the Millennium Bridge design competition.

Architect Ian Ritchie has curated this room and advocates that architects should take more account of the landscape – both geological and historical and not merely consider the local context as an optional add-on. Karl Singporewala's Morals of Chess, using, inevitably, the Shard among other landmarks, reminds us of Benjamin Franklin's essay on lessons to be learned from the game of chess – developing strategies, taking an overall view but also noting that each building stands in its own footprint and does not relate to its neighbours.

Among the 1100 works on display you may spot Southwark Bridge, Tate Modern, maps of London depicting Bankside and local landmarks. Emily Allchurch's Babel London (after Breugel) is a nightmarish compilation of the current city landscape – how many SE1 landmarks can you spot?

• The Summer Exhibition is at the Royal Academy of Arts until 16 August.

• The annual Not the Royal Academy show – now in its 25th year – is at Llewellyn Alexander Fine Paintings in Waterloo until 22 August

The SE1 website is supported by people like you
We are part of
Independent Community News Network
Email newsletter

For the latest local news and events direct to your inbox every Monday, you need our weekly email newsletter SE1 Direct.

7,000+ locals read it every week. Can you afford to miss out?

Read the latest issue before signing up

News archive from February 1999 to January 2001
Got a story for us?
Contact us with your tip-offs and story ideas.